It may be the ultimate anti-buddy show, but True Detective stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were in full bromance mode today in Pasadena. “I love Matthew, my brother, a phenomenal amazing person,” said Harrelson of his co-star. “Woody and I, part of why we’re friends is that we get on each other’s frequencies,” added McConaughey. Amidst much laughter and in-jokes, the actors were joined on the TCA stage at the first of HBO‘s panels by Michelle Monaghan, who plays Harrelson’s character’s wife; EP/writer Nic Pizzolatto; and EP/director Cary Fukunaga. “I love Michelle,” Harrelson said. “I’ve known her many many years. Cary’s a terrific director, and Nic wrote this amazing script I couldn’t put down.”
Set to debut on Sunday, the eight-episode series stars McConaughey and Harrelson as Louisiana state police detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart. The two are partnered up in the mid-1990s on what appears to be an occult-themed serial killer case. True Detective toggles between 1995 and modern day as two contemporary detectives reopen the case of almost 20 years beforehand. Under that dark premise, the antagonistic relationship between McConaughey’s Cohle (a former undercover narcotics cop suffering from hallucinations, social disconnection and an obsessive sense of duty) and Harrelson’s Hart (a hard-drinking philanderer but more by-the-book officer) makes up the heart of the show. “I can’t imagine anyone playing that part better,” said Harrelson of McConaughey. “It was different than any other part I’ve seen him play before, and he knocked it out of the park.” Still, McConaughney rejected the idea of doing more episodes. “It’s contained, that’s it,” he responded to a question from the audience.
Continuing the banter that characterized the panel, Harrelson jumped in with “you want to come back and do more?” to laughter from all onstage. While not venturing on whether or not McConaughey and Harrelson could actually return, Pizzolatto stressed that the anthology nature of the show could lend itself to a variety of interpretations. “We could do one in which no one is murdered,” he noted.
McConaughey, amid the awards-season buzz and for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, was asked about how he felt about the most recent year of his career. “I haven’t been looking in the rearview mirror,” he said. “I’m not in no way in a retrospective mode.”